What is the Difference Between Muscle Strength and Muscle Endurance?

Posted by Rene Harwood on

 


When discussing muscle enhancing exercises, it isn’t uncommon to hear about muscle strength and muscle endurance. Therefore, understanding the difference between these two terms is important to knowing how best to meet your muscle-related fitness goals.

Muscle Strength

Muscle strength refers to the amount of weight or force your muscles can exert to push, pull, or lift an object once or twice. For instance, a person who can lift a 20 pound bag of flour is said to have more muscle strength than someone who can only lift a 10 pound bag. Muscle strength is important to everyday tasks such as picking up children or grandchildren, carrying groceries from the car to the house, and moving around living room furniture.

Muscle Endurance

Muscle endurance is the ability of your muscles to engage in a repeated movement without fatiguing. As an example, a person who could move five pound building blocks from one area to another for 60 minutes without the need for a break would be considered as having greater muscle endurance than someone who could only do this for 30 minutes without taking a rest. Muscle endurance is important for engaging in various sports, as well as in careers that tend to be more physically demanding, like digging trenches or providing physical therapy.

Exercises for Both

To build your muscle strength requires following an exercise routine that has you using heavier weights for fewer reps, whereas building muscle endurance means using lighter weights for more reps. The most well-rounded program includes both of these as muscles that are both strong and durable provide the best physical condition possible.

Take a moment and think about your strength training program. Are you including exercises that boost both muscle strength and endurance? If not, then you might want to make changes, thus making your program more effective and better for you.